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Dakar Stage 1-4 News from KTM

Red Bull KTM factory riders completed Stage One of the 2013 Dakar rally on Saturday with a short timed special of just 13 km in a loop around Pisco, Peru after completing the 250 km liaison rider along the coast for the official start in the capital of Lima.

The top 32 riders were all within a minute of the leader Chaleco Lopez of Chile riding a KTM with Cyril Despres, KTM’s title defender in fifth place just 13 seconds behind. KTM Factory rider Kurt Caselli (USA), who is standing in for the injured Marc Coma finished at thirty second place in the field of 180 bikes, of which 178 were at the finish line. He trailed the leader by just one minute. The Orange factory riders are competing on the KTM 450 Rally bike

KTM team manager Alex Doringer said he had instructed his riders to take no risks in what was largely a ceremonial start to the grueling 8000 km plus rally that takes competitors on a north-south trajectory from Lima into Argentina and Chile to finish on January 20.

“I am happy with the riders,” Doringer said. “I just wanted them to take it easy and find their rhythm. The serious business starts tomorrow.”

On Sunday riders face another loop from and around Pisco but this time there will be 242 km of timed special and just 85 km of liaison and this will represent the first real shakeout of the 2013 edition. Organizers have promised tough going and plenty of challenges in the first half of the rally this year.

Results Stage One – Prologue
Lima to Pisco– total distance 263 km: 250 km liaison and 13 km special
1, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, KTM, 7 minutes 51 seconds
2, Frans Verhoeven, Netherlands, Yamaha at 00:00:01
3, Pablo Qintanilla, Chile, Honda at 00:00:05
4, Patricio Cabrera, Chile, Kawasaki at 00:00:11
5, Cyril Despres, France, KTM at 00:00:13
6, David Casteu, France, Yamaha at 00:00:15
7, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM at 00:00:19
8, Javier Pizzolito, Argentina, Honda at 00:00:21
9, Pal-Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM at 00:00:26
10, Joan Barreda Bort, Spain, Husqvarna at 00:00:29
Other KTM
12, Kuba Przygonski, Poland, KTM at 00:00: 30
15, Riaan Van Niekerk, South Africa, KTM at 00:00:33
16, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 00:00:34
18, Henk Knuiman, Netherlands, KTM at 00:00:40
26, Darryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM at 00:00:47
32, Kurt Caselli, USA, KTM at 00:01:00
42, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 00:01:09
43, Stanley Watt, UK, KTM at 00:01.09
47, Ben Grabham, Australia, KTM at 00:01.15


Saturday’s opening stage of Dakar 2013 may have been largely ceremonial but on Sunday riders plunged into some difficult territory in a loop circuit around Pisco tackling difficult dunes on Peru’s desert coast. KTM factory riders Ruben Faria and Joan Pedrero finished 2-3 overall behind leader Joan Barreda while Red Bull KTM title defender Cyril Despres is overall fifth.

The stage victory also went to the Spaniard Barrera with Pedrero in second, Faria in fourth, American KTM rider Kurt Caselli, standing in for the injured Marc Coma fifth and South Africa’s Darryl Curtis of the KTM Factory B Team with a strong sixth place finish. Pedrero and Faria, the two long serving KTM Factory support riders and rookie Caselli and Curtis all put in a great day on the sand.

Ruben Faria said it was ‘a true Dakar stage’ with loads of off-track riding and high speeds. “This is Peru and I like it. I started seventh this morning but at KM 40 I had some problems finding a waypoint and I set off with Frans Verhoeven, who I then overtook. I then caught up with Cyril (Despres) and we tackled the last big dunes together.”

KTM Factory teammate Pedrero said it had been tough and grueling stage and after starting back a forty-third place he had to deal with a lot of dust. “I had to overtake a lot of people and stay focused but I found the motivation to do it,” he said.

Despres on the other hand was one of a group of top contenders who succumbed to a collective navigational temptation at the 75 km mark of the 242 km timed special. He and others opted to take a detour around a formidable dune and he now trails the overall leader by eight minutes. Stage One winner Chaleco Lopez (KTM) of Chile was another in this group and he is now down the order at twentieth overall.

Speaking from the bivouac in Pisco after Sunday’s stage, KTM Factory team manager Alex Doringer said he was more than happy with the results so far. “It was a very strong result today for our two support riders Ruben Faria and Joan Pedrero and we were also very happy with Caselli. Also Cyril (Despres) is quite happy with his position because he is able to start from behind tomorrow, which will be a very tough stage. Cyril is not only a great rider but also a great tactician and there are many kilometers ahead of us in this year’s edition,” he said. All KTM Factory riders are competing on the KTM 450 Rally bike,

On Sunday riders first traveled 85 km out of Pisco on the liaison stretch before doubling back through the dunes for a grueling 242 km in the timed special.

Organizers have promised an even tougher day on Monday when Stage Three takes them from Pisco to Nazca, home to the UN Heritage site of the famous Nazca Lines in the Peruvian Desert over a total distance 343 km made up of 100 km liaison and another 243 km of timed special.

Results Stage Two
Pisco to Pisco– total distance 327 km: 85 km liaison and 242 km special
1, Joan Barreda Bort, Spain, Husqvarna 2 hours 42.31
2, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM, 2:45.47
3, Mathew Fish, Australia Husqvarna 2:48.24
4, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM 2:48.57
5, Kurt Caselli, USA, KTM 2:49.41
6, Darryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM 2:50.20
7, David Casteu, France, Yamaha 2:50.39
8, Jordi Villadoms, Spain, Husqvarna 2:50.46
9, Israel Esquerre, Chile, Honda, 2:50.50
10, Pal-Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM 2:52.13
11, Olivier Pain, France, Yamaha 2:52.41
12, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 2:52.41
Other KTM
14, Ben Grabham, Australia, KTM 2:52.47
17, Stefan Svitko, Slovenia, KTM 2:55.46
23, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM 2:59.18
25, Kuba Przygonski, Poland, KTM 2:59.50
26, Henk Knuiman, Netherlands, KTM 2:59.50
29, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, KTM 3:00.45
38, Riaan van Niekerk, South Africa KTM 3:04.47

Overall standings after two stages
1, Barreda, 3 hours 24.11
2, Faria, KTM, 3:29.47
3, Pedrero, KTM, 3:30.47
4, Casteu, 3:31.09
5, Despres KTM, 3:33.01 (title defender, now trails leader by 8 minutes 50)
6, Fish, 3:33.29
7, Curtis, KTM 3:33.30
8, Ullevalseter KTM, 3:33.38
9, Villadoms, 3:33.46
10, Esquerre, 3:33.50
Other KTM
11, Caselli, KTM 3:33.56
17, Svitko, KTM 3:37.51
19, Grabham KTM 3:38.17
20, Lopez, KTM 3:40.00
23, Przygonski, KTM 3:41.34
25, Knuiman, KTM 3:42.25
28, Czachor, KTM 3:44.13
33, Van Niekerk KTM 3:46.47


Red Bull KTM factory rider and reigning title-holder Cyril Despres on Monday assumed his natural habitat at the head of the overall standings in the 2013 Dakar Rally. Despres, who finished third in Stage Three, vaulted from fifth overall into the premiere place on Day Three of this marathon event.

Despres now holds a 2 minute 51 second overall lead over Chaleco Lopez (KTM) while evergreen KTM rider Pal-Anders Ullevalseter of Norway in third place, four minutes 59 behind the leader. Lopez made a big charge from back in the field to win Stage Three ahead of Paolo Goncalves of Portugal while Despres was third. Jakub Przygonski of the KTM Factory B Team had a good day out finishing fifth in the stage to improve his overall position to tenth.

Stage Three, which took riders over some of the most spectacular sections of the desert of southern Peru shook up the standing order and saw Stage Two winner and overall leader Joan Barreda Bort slip back to overall eighteenth. It also saw the two KTM Factory Team’s support riders, Ruben Faria and Joan Pedrero, pay the price for being amongst the first to start this morning. Ruben Faria is now eleventh overall and teammate Joan Pedrero is now twenty-third. South African Darryl Curtis of the KTM Factory B Team fared better and is now thirteenth overall and his teammate Riaan Van Niekerk is twenty-fifth. Kurt Caselli, the factory team’s rookie entrant riding for the injured Marc Coma was a very creditable nineteenth place overall after Stage Three.

The highly experienced Despres, going for his fifth Dakar title continues to ride his skillful and tactical race and this paid off for him in Monday’s conditions. Riders had only a brief liaison before launching into the soft sand and unpredictable dunes that lived up to the organizers’ promise that the opening stages of this over 8000 km marathon would be very tough. Riders tackled steeper and more difficult dunes in the first half of the day before entering rolling terrain in the second half of the stage.

Despres was happy to take over top spot on the overall list and said he had “a fairly good special”. “I think I made significant progress in the general classification today. I started in twelfth place but I soon caught up with the leaders and I was at the front of the race from km 190 onwards. Considering that I started 20 minutes after Barreda and Pedrero, I think I did quite well!”

Lopez said Stage Three had been very different from the first two days ride. “I started from right back in the field and I went flat out right through the stage to try to catch Cyril. I focused on navigating and finding the waypoints, and everything went well. But tomorrow’s stage will be different at the front of the race, so I’m taking things one day at a time.”

Factory team manager Alex Doringer said he was satisfied with his riders. “We now have Cyril in the overall lead and also Kuba Przygonski did a great job and made up a lot of places today. It was a tough day of navigating and this cost Ruben (Faria) and Joan (Pedrero) some places. We are also very proud of Kurt Caselli and what he is doing in his first ever Dakar and Darryl Curtis on our B Team is doing a fantastic job. With all our riders in good shape and no technical problems we’re looking forward to another tough day tomorrow.” The KTM Factory riders are all on KTM 450 Rally machines.

Stage Four takes riders from Nazca to Arequipa for a total distance of 343 km, 243 km of which is another difficult timed section.

Results Stage Three
Pisco to Nazca – total distance 343 km: 100 km liaison and 243 km special
1, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, KTM 2 hours 37.54
2, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal Husqvarna, 2:39.02
3, Cyril Despres, France, KTM, 2:42.02
4, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, Husqvarna 2:42.59
5, Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM 2:43.14
6, Daniel Gouet, Chile, Honda, 2:44.29
7, Gerard Farres Guell, Spain, Honda, 2:44.52
8, Frans Verhoeven, Netherlands, Yamaha 2:45.16
9, Olivier Pain, France, Yamaha 2:45.22
10, Javier Pizzolito, Argentina, Honda 2:45.33
11, Pal-Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM 2:46.24
12, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM 2:46.52
20, Riaan van Niekerk, South Africa KTM 2:51.36
22, Darryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM 2:52.52
24, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM 2:56.03
25, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM 2:56.56
26, Henk Knuiman, Netherlands, KTM 2:57.35
30, Kurt Caselli, USA, KTM 3:01.41
36, Ben Grabham, Australia, KTM 3:05.31
39, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM 3:07.17

Overall results after Stage Three
1, Despres, KTM 6 hours 15.03
2, Lopez, KTM 6:17.54
3, Ullevalseter, KTM 6:20.02
4, Pain, 6:21.06
5, David Casteu, France, Yamaha 6:21.11
6, Israel Esquerre, Chile, Honda 6:21.22
7, Verhoeven, KTM, 6:23.11
8, Jordi Villadoms, Spain, Husqvarna 6:24.11
9, Svitko, KTM, 6:24.43
10, Przygonski, KTM 6:24.48
11, Faria, KTM 6:25.50
13, Curtis, KTM 6:26.22
19, Caselli, KTM 6:35.67
23, Pedrero, KTM 6:38.04
25, Van Niekerk, KTM 6:38.23
32, Ben Grabham, Australia, KTM 6:43.48


Four times Dakar winner Cyril Despres of the Red Bull KTM factory team continued to ride at his own pace in Tuesday’s Stage Four on his KTM 450 Rally bike, sacrificing a few minutes to finish third in the overall standings but saving energy for the long and strenuous ride ahead.

Despres, not only an exceptional rider but also a great tactician said he had backed off a little in the stage, which gave those behind a chance to gain some time. “It’s not the first time this happens,” he said at the end of the stage. “But don’t worry about me, I’m racing my way. I’ve been riding at a high pace for three days, but not flat out, which helps me to save energy and avoid pushing the motorcycle to the limit. When you start at the back and go like crazy all day long, you ride in the dust, so if you later have mechanical problems, it won’t be down to just bad luck… The rally’s still long and I ride at my pace!”

Despres may have coasted in after the day’s ride at fifteenth place but he is only three minutes 09 behind the overall leader and feeling comfortable after what was a tough 720 km total ride in Tuesday’s stage. Organizers had planned it to be the reverse of a stage from last year’s edition and it included a tricky 2 km downhill slide in the first third of the special.

Fastest KTM factory rider in Stage Four was Despres’ support rider Ruben Faria who finished in sixth place 12:18 behind today’s stage leader Joan Barreda of Spain. Other riders from the two KTM factory teams included Jakub Przygonski in ninth, South Africa’s Riaan Van Niekerk in eleventh, American Kurt Caselli in seventeenth, Darryl Curtis of South Africa in twenty second and Joan Pedrero in twenty third. Faria is also now sixth overall 8:39 behind the leader and Przygonski is well placed at tenth with a deficit of 14:20, including a five-minute penalty.

Stage Five takes riders from Arequipa to Arica on the border with Chile over a total distance of 411 km – a liaison of 275 km and 136 km of timed special.

Results Stage Four
Nazca to Arequipa total distance 718 km – 429 km liaison and 289 km special
1, Joan Barreda, Spain, Husqvarna three hours 41.09
2, Olivier Pain, France, Yamaha 3:49.32
3, David Casteu, France, Yamaha 3:51.51
4, Gerard Farres Guell, Spain, Honda, 3:52.49
5, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal Honda, 3:52.52
6, Ruben Faria, Portugal KTM 3:53.27
Other KTM
9, Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM 3:55.10
11, Riaan Van Niekerk, South Africa, KTM 3:56.16
15, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 3:58.44
17, Kurt Caselli, USA, KTM 3:59.34?18, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, KTM 4:02.45
21, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM 2:46.52
22, Darryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM 4:03.11
23, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM 4:04.51
25, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM 4:05.30

Overall Standings after Stage Four
1, Pain, 10:10.38
2, Casteu, 10:13.02
3, Despres, KTM, 10:13.47
4, Barreda, 10:16.16
5, Jordi Villadoms, Spain, 10:18.00
6, Faria, KTM 10:19.17
Other KTM
8, Lopez, 10:20.39
10, Przygonski, 10:24.58
11, Ullevalseter, 10:25.32
13, Svitko, 10:27.52
14, Curtis, 10:29.33
19, Van Niekerk, 10:34.39
20. Caselli, 10:35.11
23, Pedrero, 10:42.55
29, Ben Grabham, Australia, KTM, 10:59.37


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